3 The Past—The Development and Evolution of Digital Technologies
The Past—The Development and Evolution of Digital Technologies
As we noted at the outset of Chapter 1, we remain convinced that the Internet is “now the largest and most pervasive global communication system ever created in the history of human beings, affecting more people in more ways than any other human invention.”1 Yet, it is difficult to identify all of those people and the related technologies that contributed to the development of the Internet.
We are not computer scientists nor are we professional historians. We are communication specialists focusing on the Internet as an extremely profound communication invention and technology. While some may be intrigued by the technical features of the Internet, such matters affect us only if they affect how people transmit and receive messages through the Internet. Certainly, we cannot remain indifferent to these “technical features,” for far too often they affect and determine how human beings can communicate with the Internet. Likewise, there is no question that different historical eras are more or less receptive to using technologies to communicate with other human beings. Indeed, we find such analyses particularly fascinating and intriguing.